: Megala Chorafia Tavernas
Megala Horafia & Aptera
Some 12 km from Chania and perched atop a thyme-covered hillside overlooking the island of Agios Ioannis in Souda Bay the small village of Megala Horafia with a population circa 300, still boasts a church or two, plus a local kafenion, a mini market, two tavernas and a thriving economy based on sheep and honey! The panoramic views of the distant mountains are quite remarkable, especially during April and May when the highest peaks are still dusted by snow. Nearby, is the ancient site of Aptera with its old Turkish Castle and even older Roman Cisterns still in amazingly good repair.
3 km away is the tiny hamlet of Kalami with a choice of 2 tavernas and a quiet sandy beach, whilst a further 5 minute drive will bring you to the bustling seaside town of Kalives, with its numerous shops, tavernas and a local bank. For somewhere different and quintessentially Cretan, take an afternoon's drive up into the mountains to the tiny village of Samonas and stop in at The Eagle's Nest Taverna. Katina will rustle up something, whatever is fresh that day, if you need a spot of lunch. Plus, she is good friends with Roussa, who lives in the village and keeps the key to the remarkably beautiful Byzantine church of Agios Nikolaos, which is a couple of kilometres or so beyond the village. If you ask her nicely and drive her there she will open it for you, but please don't leave it too late in the afternoon, as she has to milk her goats!